“‘Don’t write any more tonight. Talk to me, Sam-dad!’ said Elanor, and drew him to a seat by the fire.
‘Tell me,’ she said, as they sat close together with the soft golden light on their faces, ‘tell me about Lórien. Does my flower grow there still, Sam-dad?’
‘Well dear, Celeborn still lives there among his trees and his Elves, and there I don’t doubt your flower grows still. Though now I have got you to look at, I don’t hanker after it so much.’
‘But I don’t want to look at myself, Sam-dad. I want to look at other things. I want to see the hill of Amroth where the King met Arwen, and the silver trees, and the little white niphredil, and the golden elanor in the grass that is always green. And I want to hear Elves singing.’
‘Then, maybe, you will one day, Elanor. I said the same thing when I was your age, and long after it, and there didn’t seem to be no hope. And yet I saw them, and I heard them.’
‘I was afraid they were all sailing away, Sam-dad. Then soon there would be none here; and then everywhere would be just places and’
‘And what, Elanorellë?’
‘And the light would have faded.’
‘I know,’ said Sam. The light is fading, Elanorellë. But it won’t go out yet. It won’t ever quite go out, I think now, since I have had you to talk to. For it seems to me now that people can remember it who have never seen it. And yet,’ he sighed, ‘even that is not the same thing as really seeing it, like I did.’
‘Like really being in a story?’ said Elanor. “A story is quite different, even when it is about what happened. I wish I could go back to old days!’
‘Folk of our sort often wish that,’ said Sam. ‘You came at the end of a great Age, Elanorellë, but though it’s over, as we say, things don’t really end sharp like that. It’s more like a winter sunset. The High Elves have nearly all gone now with Elrond. But not quite all; and those that didn’t will wait now for a while. And the others that belong here, will last even longer. There are still things for you to see, and maybe you’ll see them sooner than you hope.’
Elanor was silent for some time before she spoke again. ‘I did not understand at first what Celeborn meant when he said goodbye to the King,’ she said. ‘But I think I do now. He knew that Lady Arwen would stay, but that Galadriel would leave him. I think it was very sad for him. And for you, dear Sam-dad.’ Her hand felt for his, and his brown hand clasped her slender fingers. ‘For your treasure went too. I am glad Frodo of the Ring saw me, but I wish I could remember seeing him.’
‘It was sad, Elanorellë,’ said Sam, kissing her hair. ‘It was, but it isn’t now. For why? Well, for one thing, Mr. Frodo has gone where the elven-light isn’t fading; and he deserved his reward. But I have had mine, too. I have had lost of treasures. I am a very rich hobbit. And there is one other reason, which I shall whisper to you, a secret I have never told before to no one, nor put in the Book yet. Before he went Mr. Frodo said that my time maybe would come. I can wait. I think maybe we haven’t said farewell for good. But I can wait. I have learned that much from the Elves at any rate. They are not so troubled about time. And so I think Celeborn is still happy among his trees, in an Elvish way. His time hasn’t come, and he isn’t tired of his land yet. When he is tired he can go.’
‘And when you’re tired, you will go too, Sam-dad. You will go to the Havens with the Elves. Then I shall go with you. I shall not part with you, like Arwen did with Elrond.’
‘Maybe, maybe,’ said Sam kissing her gently. ‘And maybe not. The choice of Lúthien and Arwen comes to many, Elanorellë, or something like it; and it isn’t wise to choose before the time.’”
--J. R. R. Tolkien, excerpt from the second version of the Epilogue to The Lord of the Rings that was subsequently omitted from the published work.
Proud member of the Middle Earth Sock Puppet Theater from March 7th, 2002.